Logistics company helps importer Pernod Ricard USA gear up for St. Patrick’s Day

Jameson Irish WhiskeyCollege basketball isn’t the only venue that has an annual big event in the month of March. For Pernod Ricard USA, and its Jameson Irish Whiskey brand, the “Big Event” every March is St. Patrick’s Day. And every year the importer calls on logistics company John S. Connor, headquartered in Glen Burnie, Maryland, to handle the customs clearance of its containers of Jameson into the US.

On an annual basis, Pernod Ricard, based in White Plains, New York, imports about 400 containers of Jameson into the US. But by far, the greatest demand for the product occurs in the month of March, which accounts for 25% of the annual retail sales of the brand.

In order to have the inventory in the hands of retailers for the March availability, approximately 100 containers are shipped in the months of January and February. According to Stephen Ballas, senior director of customer service at Pernod Ricard, the company has 150 distributors in the US.

“About 75% of the Jameson is shipped to our distributors and the rest is sent to our distribution point in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, for future sale,” Ballas said. The Cincinnati office of John S. Connor, headed by Sheila Saab, manager, handles the customs clearance for the Lawrenceburg distribution center.

“We made a conscious decision to utilize the services of John S. Connor because of their expertise in the wine and spirits business, and because of their knowledge of our processes and our customer base,” Ballas stated. “A lot of our distributors also have Connor as their official customs broker.”

All of the Jameson containers are shipped to the US from the Port of Dublin. 80% of the shipments come to East Coast ports, the major marketing area for the brand, and 20% comes into west coast ports. The major East Coast ports for Jameson are located in New York, Norfolk, Miami, Baltimore, and Savannah.

Jameson, which was introduced over 200 years ago, has become the world’s leading Irish whiskey, and has achieved an annual growth of 12% for the last three years. Made primarily from pure Irish water and the finest Irish barley, Jameson is created through a fastidious multi-stage process with unique characteristics.

The malting stage uses barley dried in a closed kiln, preserving the clean honeyed flavor of the malt and eliminating the smoky, peaty flavor present in Scotch whisky. Jameson is then triple-distilled. Finally, the whiskey is aged for a minimum of five to seven years after being matured in American bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casks.

John S. Connor is a full service logistics firm based in Glen Burnie, MD. The company is a leading provider of ocean freight and air freight, customs brokerage, domestic transportation, and steamship agency services. Connor has a vast network of agents worldwide, and is a licensed NVOCC.